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Mon, Mar 03, 2003

TBM 700 Goes Down In Northern VA

FAA, NTSB Investigate Fatal TBM 700 Accident

Federal aviation investigators were stomping through the backyard of a home near downtown Leesburg (VA), Sunday, looking for data on the crash of a newly-delivered Socata TBM 700. Three people on board the aircraft were killed when the single-engine, turboprop, high-performance aircraft impacted the ground just six feet from a house.

Pilot Donald W. Fitzpatrick of Reston, 58, and co-pilot Gregory D. Jackson of Sterling, 42, were killed in the impact. A passenger, Bronson Byrd of Purcellville, 56, died from his injuries about 7:25 p.m. at Inova Fairfax Hospital.

Cleared To Land

Fitzpatrick had been cleared to land at Leesburg Executive Airport, two miles from the crash site. Virginia State Police Trooper Randy Buracker said the aircraft was returning to Leesburg from Sarasota (FL). He said the group had made a stop in South Carolina to drop off another passenger. 

"There is some indication (the pilot) missed his first approach and was circling to go back" toward the airport when the crash occurred, Buracker said. The people inside the nearby home were away when the accident occurred.

Pixie Traynham, whose house sits about 75 yards from the crash site, said the plane ended up between an outdoor playhouse and the unoccupied home.

"It is incredible" that the plane didn't hit any homes, Traynham said. "We heard the sound of the engines (sic), and the crackling of the trees it hit and then just silence."

This particular airplane was practically new: it received its Airworthiness Certificate just January 22.

Insight from NBAA:

Late Monday, the NBAA noted, "A TBM 700 crewed by Greg Jackson, former NBAA manager, tax issues, and Donald W. Fitzpatrick PhD, president and CEO of High Performance Technologies, Inc. [the plane's owner --ed.] of Arlington, VA, crashed on Saturday while attempting to land at Leesburg Airport in Virginia. All aboard were killed, including passenger Bronson Byrd. All were employees of the company. A preliminary accident report from the National Transportation Safety Board, which is conducting the investigation, is due later this week. Jackson was manager of tax issues for NBAA from 1999 to 2002, when he left NBAA to take the flying position. "Greg worked tirelessly for the Membership. Our thoughts today are with his family," said NBAA President John W. Olcott. Jackson is survived by his wife and two children. Funeral arrangements will be posted on NBAA's web site when they become available.

**   Report created 3/3/03   Record 16  **
IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 700PP        Make/Model: TBM7      Description: TBM-700
  Date: 03/01/2002     Time: 2016
  Event Type: Accident   Highest Injury: Fatal     Mid Air: N    Missing: N
  Damage: Unknown
LOCATION
  City: LEESBURG   State: VA   Country: US
DESCRIPTION
  ACFT, ON IFR  APPROACH, CRASHED APPROX 1 MI SHORT OF RWY INTO A BACKYARD, 3 POB SUFFERED FATAL INJURIES, LEESBURG, VA
INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   3
                 # Crew:  1     Fat:   1     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:   
                 # Pass:   2     Fat:   2     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:   
                 # Grnd:         Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:   
WEATHER: KJYO 012000Z AUTO 14004KT 1SM OVC003 03/02 A3012
OTHER DATA
  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Approach      Operation: General Aviation
  Departed: GREER, SC                   Dep Date: 03/01/2003   Dep. Time: 1829
  Destination: LEESBURG, VA             Flt Plan: IFR          Wx Briefing: U
  Last Radio Cont: 1941Z/ASPER-PCT
  Last Clearance: CANCEL FLIGHT W/JYO AFSS
  FAA FSDO: WASHINGTON IAD, DC  (EA27)            Entry date: 03/03/2003

FMI: www.ntsb.gov

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